Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Black Carbon Emissions in Asia: Sources, Impacts, and Abatement Opportunities


Several studies have identified Asia as the single largest source of global black carbon emissions from contained combustion (such as combustion in engines, stoves, and kilns), accounting for more than half of all such emissions. Asia is also a major contributor to global black carbon emissions from open combustion (forest fires, land clearing through fire, and burning of agricultural wastes). However, such combustion also produces emissions of climate-cooling aerosols and by most studies is estimated to have an overall climate neutral or cooling effect.

Author: Timm Kroeger

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commissioned this report to answer the following key questions:

1) What are the properties of black carbon as a contributor to global warming, and what are the direct and indirect impacts of black carbon with respect to global warming, natural ecosystems, human health, or other considerations?
2) What are the principal sources of black carbon emissions in Asia, both in terms of types of activities generating emissions and the location of these activities?
3) What are the most immediate opportunities (in terms of technological or economic viability) for reducing black carbon emissions in the Asia region and for mitigating the impact of those emissions in Asia, and what are the major obstacles to pursuing these opportunities?